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Jarvis Walker Fish Mail - September 2011 - Sign up To Win a Fishing Trip to Vanuatu!

Jarvis Walker

September, 2011

Welcome to the Fish Mail September 2011 Edition, the Jarvis Walker Brands monthly newsletter full of stories, tips, recipes, news and hot new products.

Jarvis Walker Brands upgraded fishing tackle and marine website

Jarvis Walker website

You can browse through some 3000 fishing and marine products from more than a dozen leading brands at the new-look Jarvis Walker Brands website. The latest upgrade to this comprehensive angler resource makes searching for and learning about specific products easy and convenient. The new site guides you quickly to what you're looking for, whether that be fishing tackle, electric motors, marine products or general fishing information, tips, videos, or the latest hot-priced catalogue and sale items. Check out all the changes for yourself at

While you're there, take time to sign up at The Buzz to stay up-to-date with the latest fishing tackle news and hot offers.

To help identify the best kind of tackle for your favourite fishing, there's an easy-to-find section on the homepage called 'Buyer's Guides'. Here you'll find handy information on tackle and how it's used, so you can make the right tackle choices and catch more fish.

If you want loads of free fishing tips and advice, you'll love the newly arranged catalogue of tips and instructional videos listed in the 'Using Our Equipment' section on this new website. It can help you with everything from videos on knot tying, to mounting an electric motor, to species-specific tactics, to fishing with kids. Click here to visit the 'Using Equipment' section.

Big Fish Hot Spot: Bream

Big Fish Hot Spots: Flathead

Flathead hot spot: Derwent River, Tas

Where: The main artery of Hobart.

Fish: It's not the prettiest river you'll encounter, but the black bream are among the biggest in the country. Various hard-bodied and soft plastic lures will be crunched when cast around rockwalls and other submerged structure.

When: Summer months are more comfortable in Tassie.

Facilities: Dine out as much as possible. The local seafood, wine and produce are excellent. So is the beer, which can be sampled at the Cascade Brewery. Remember to check for a Twenty20 match at Bellerive Oval to complete the fishing-beer-cricket trifecta.

Other things to do: Bushwalking the Croajingolong UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve. Surf the break at Bastion Point. Visit one of the oldest lighthouses in Australia (the original built in 1853) on nearby Gabo Island.

More info: Visit the local tackle stores for a chat about charter options. Saltwater rod fishing in Tasmania does not require a permit. You need a Recreational Sea Fishing Licence for some other activities. Visit the website, A licence is also required for inland fishing:

Also try: Victoria's Gippsland Lakes is the mainland's bream Mecca. The Gold Coast's canal system is an accessible holiday bream hot spot and has plenty of yellowfin bream loitering around the many pontoons and moored boats. Bream are known to be a clever species, so remember these areas are popular and often-fished and you'll need to be on your game to fool the big fish.

YouTube fishing

The popular Watersnake electric motors are used on many kinds of watercraft and this video by Fishing World magazine explains how you can fit an electric motor to a kayak. This example features a cleverly-designed Freedom Hawk kayak, matched with a Watersnake T18 motor:

Fitting a motor to a kayak

Watch other amateur video fishing footage by clicking through to the Jarvis Walker Brands YouTube channel:

Jarvis Walker Brands YouTube channel

You can subscribe to our YouTube channel for free. It's easy! Simply click on the yellow SUBSCRIBE button, which is positioned at the top and centre of our YouTube channel's page, follow the prompts, and you will receive an automatic notice each time there's a new video to watch.

Lure identifier

It's important to use lures that best imitate the real thing. Each month we'll identify lures that look like popular baitfish, to help you choose the most effective lures for your fishing.

Bait species: prawn-every fish loves eating prawns!

Lure identifier: Prawns

Best lure look-alike: Tsunami Shrimp Cocktail - Both the 3" and 4" sizes are excellent. Try the Clear/Gold Glitter colour in clear water; the Root Beer Gold Glitter colour in murky estuary water; and the Glo or Glo Chartreuse colour at sunset or thereafter.

Classic fishing quote

"The finest gift you can give to any fisherman is to put a good fish back, and who knows if the fish that you caught isn't someone else's gift to you?"

- Lee Wulff, famous American outdoorsman and sport fishing pioneer.

Hot Products

Van Staal's Story - the birth of hard-core submersible reels

Van Staal's Story - the birth of hard-core submersible reels

The unique hard-core durability of Van Staal reels is best described by the reel's heritage. Born of a need: Daredevil USA anglers who would don wetsuits and crash out through the breakers, either to stand and fish from chest-deep water - winding lures with the reel underwater - or crazier still, swimming out to distant rock ledges, climbing up slippery ledges, using their rods like a staff, just to reach the best casting position. Standard spin reels all but melted under these impossible conditions, and so in the early 1990s one angler, also a gifted engineer, invented the original Van Staal VS spin reel: A completely sealed reel with a design based on maximum strength and simplicity. The original VS design has attained cult status around the globe among not just surf and rock fishers, but any anglers who need the toughest reel available.

No other reel has ever been built to withstand the elements better than Van Staal. A Van Staal is not a normal reel. Van Staal reels are completely sealed and filled with oil. The seals keep its parts lubricated inside and prevent saltwater from intruding. The Van Staal drag system is completely sealed and waterproofed with seals positioned throughout the spool, body and handle assembly. This level of protection is unmatched by even the most expensive spin reels available. This hard-core level of protection is designed to make Van Staal reels a low-maintenance and lasting option for the most extreme rock, beach and kayak fishing, but it also offers strength for anglers less likely to submerge reels but who enjoy other extreme fishing styles, such as offshore jigging and targeting big, hard running fish that generate excessive heat on long runs and apply extreme pressure on reel parts.

Van Staal spin reels feature the largest main gear in the industry, which is machined from hardened 416 HT stainless steel. This gear will never slip or strip under pressure and its large size provides extra torque. The pinion gear is also 416 HT stainless steel. According to steel manufacturing specialist Ugitech USA, 416HT stainless steel is regarded as "a product that delivers superior productivity and tool life... and represents the optimum condition for both machinability and corrosion resistance."

Van Staal's Story - the birth of hard-core submersible reels

The body, spool and handle are all machined from solid bar stock 6061-T6511 aluminium, a special heat-treated alloy that is artificially aged, offering excellent corrosion resistance. The centre shaft and line roller are machined from solid titanium with a titanium-nitride coating.

All models have a genuine 30lb of lock-down drag and are designed to handle the most extreme fishing styles and braid lines. The Van Staal build quality is unmatched. The brand's tag line "No limitations" is very apt.

Bail systems are inherently the weaker section of any spin reel and so the original Van Staal VS spin reels have a bail-less design, offering hard-core anglers a reel with one less part to break - an asset for those anglers quickly clambering up a rock ledge they have just swum to. This design requires a slightly different hand-movement during casting, which is simple and easy to learn after a minute of practice. A bail-less design is more suited to cast-and-retrieve styles than free-spooling live baits, and even some jiggers will find they prefer a bail version. Van Staal recognised this a while ago and added the VSB bail designs to the range.

Van Staal reels require little maintenance. A light freshwater rinse and wipe down after each use is all you have to do. It's recommended opening and servicing a reel once a year. If the reel is not getting submerged or fished hard, then you don't have to do it even that often. If you're swimming to spots regularly, then you might want to open the reel and service it more often - but for most Van Staal fishermen, once a year is adequate.

The unique design of Van Staal reels require different servicing techniques and Van Staal maintenance kits (models VS4100, VS4200 and VS4300) are available, all with good instructions so you can do your own annual maintenance.

The original VS design is available in Australia in both the gold and black in three sizes: VS150, VS250 and the biggest, the VS300. The right hand wind version of the original bail-less design is only available in gold in Australia, in two sizes: the VS150LG - LH; and the VS250LG - LH. (The coding can seem confusing because Van Staal add an 'LH' to the model number for reels that you wind the handle with your right hand.)

There is also a left-hand wind spin reel with bail available in Australia, in gold finish only. It's available in two sizes: the VSB100G and the VSB200G.

For more information on Van Staal products available in Australia, visit

Catch it & cook it

Fish Tacos

Fish Tacos

Adding the flavour of fresh fish to this crowd pleaser is quick and tasty. Everyone loves tacos!

Serves 6 (2 tacos each).


  • 4-6 fish fillets (roughly 1 fillet per person unless they are large fillets)
  • 1 lime, juiced and rind grated
  • 1 packet taco spice blend (comes in the box with the tacos)
  • Sea salt
  • 1/2 cup coriander, roughly chopped
  • 1/2 head lettuce, sliced
  • 4 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1 cup grated tasty cheese
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 12 taco shells or tortillas
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil


  • 300ml sour cream
  • 125g natural yoghurt
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • Pinch salt
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed


  1. Place fish fillets in a shallow dish.
  2. Sprinkle with lime rind, taco spice blend and salt.
  3. Top with coriander and lime juice, then refrigerate for 2 hours.
  4. Meanwhile, place lettuce, tomato and cheese in separate serving bowls.
  5. Add the balsamic to the tomatoes.
  6. Combine all sauce ingredients and stir well.
  7. Preheat oven and heat taco shells (and/or my favourite, tortillas) as per packet directions.
  8. Heat oil and cook your fish on the barbecue (or in frypan).
  9. When cooked, chop up, and place in a serving bowl.
  10. Serve everything in bowls on the table and everyone can make their own tacos or tortilla wraps!

Recipe courtesy of Rachel McGlashan's "Dinner with the Fishwife"

Feature Article

Finders keepers
By Daniel Tillack

How far would you go to find the kind of spine-tingling, goose-bump-raising, sleep-stealing hot spots that promise to amaze and excite you every cast? It's a question worth asking, because those anglers who catch more than others frequently challenge themselves with this topic.

Motivations for finding 'secret spots' vary from frustration with crowded spots, to long boat ramp queues, to declining accessibility via marine parks, to simply not catching as many fish as you want to. The latter is often the main reason, but with diminishing angler access and growing crowds, anglers must now explore more and work harder for every fish.

If you want to catch more, you must research. Fishing is a discipline that necessitates attention to detail, and true to all such disciplines, innovators excel. Some anglers spend days exploring areas with depth sounders and GPS, examining marine charts, coastal maps, library texts, internet resources and fishing magazines.

There can be an element of personal risk involved in some angling endeavours, so know your limits before heading into new frontiers. They are only fish after all, and there's no sense in risking your life to catch one.

Once all is considered and making sense, have a go! Fish can move and feed in some unusual areas. They can also be caught in areas too obvious to be thought possible. The one certainty is that if you don't cast, you'll never know.

The most rewarding fishing experiences are those at locations you find yourself, and better yet, if you're the only one who knows about a spot, you'll have the fishing to yourself.